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  • 1 University of Otago Botany Department Dunedin
  • | 2 Climate Impacts Group, Plant Ecology, Lund University Department of Ecology, Ekologihuset 223 62 Lund
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Testing the ecological communities of different areas for convergence, in the sense of remarkable similarity in the characteristics of the species present, has a long history in biology. Recently, numerical methods have been developed for comparing community-level convergence to an explicit null model. No valid method has been known for testing the significance of texture convergence when the species are weighted by their abundance. Six combinations of method variants are tested on random datasets. A valid P value (i. e., with P . 0. 05 in no more than 5% of the cases) is obtained so long as for each species the distribution of abundances across sites is retained, and only the assignment of character values is randomised. Further restriction is not necessary for obtaining a valid P value, and can lead to a test with considerably lower power to detect convergence. The power of the test with free matching of character values to species is only moderate with 10 sites, though improved with larger numbers of sites. Previous methods for detecting texture convergence have examined convergence only in the mean value for any character. It is possible that the external environment might be reflected in the community mean of a character, leaving the imprint of convergence on the shape of the distribution, rather than the mean. A method for comparing the shape is described, and it is shown that the null model is valid also for this test statistic.  

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